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Maria Liston

Associate Professor; Department Chair

Maria Liston

Office:  PAS 2013

Phone: 519-888-4567 x33050



Maria Liston, Associate Professor and Chair of the Anthropology department, received her BA in Classics from King College in Bristol, Tennessee and her MA in Classics from Indiana University. She then completed a BA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee. She pursues research as a skeletal biologist and archaeologist, focusing on the excavation and analysis of human remains and their mortuary contexts. Since 2001 she has worked as the skeletal biologist in the Athenian Agora, the civic and religious center of ancient Athens. In her work there she has recently identified the oldest case of battered child syndrome known from the archaeological record. She also works in Greece with the excavations at Mycenaean Iklaina, and the new excavations in the Sanctuary of Ismenion Apollo in Thebes. She is currently publishing the skeletons from tombs found at Kavousi, Crete.  She also has directed the analysis of the remains of British and colonial soldiers at Fort William Henry, in New York.  She involves students in research and overseas study projects whenever possible.

Selected Publications

Liston, M.A.  “Human Skeletons from the Athenian Agora Early Iron Age Cemeteries.”  In J.K. Papadopoulos, ed., Excavations in the Athenian Agora: The Early Iron Age, Part 1: The Cemeteries.  American School of Classical Studies in Athens.  In Press.

Liston, M.A. “Skeletal Evidence for the Impact of Battle on Soldiers and Non-Combatants.”In L.L. Brice, ed. New Approaches to Greco-Roman Warfare. Wiley-Blackwell.  Forthcoming, 2014.

Liston, M. A. and Rotroff, Susan I.  2013. “Babies in the Well: Archaeological Evidence for Newborn Disposal in Hellenistic Greece.” In T. Parkin and J. Evans-Grubbs, eds. Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World, pp. 62-81. (Translated and Reprinted: 2013 “Des bébé dans un puits: un témoignage de l’abandon des nouveau-nés en Grèce hellénistique”. Dossiers d'Archeologie 356:74-79.)

2012 “Reading the Bones: Interpreting the Skeletal Evidence for Women’s Lives in Ancient Greece.” In S.A. James and S. Dillon, eds. A Companion to Women in the Ancient Mediterranean, Blackwells’ Companions to the Ancient World, Malden, MA: Wiley- Blackwell, pp. 125-140.

2009 - [with Leslie Preston Day] "It Does Take a Brain Surgeon: A Successful Trepanation from Kavousi, Crete and the Identification of Associated Surgical Instruments," In C. Bourbou, S. Fox, eds. New Directions in the Skeletal Biology of Greece. OWLS (Occasional Wiener Laboratory Supplements) American School of Classical Studies, Princeton, NJ.

2007 - Secondary cremation burials at Kavousi Vronda, Crete: Symbolic representation in mortuary practice.Hesperia 76(1):57-71.

2004 - [with John Papadopoulos] The Rich Athenian Lady was Pregnant: The Anthropology of an Early Iron Age Tomb Reconsidered. Hesperia 73:7-38.

1996 - [with B.J. Baker] Reconstructing the Massacre at Fort William Henry. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 6:28-41.

University of Waterloo

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Stuart Karrow working in the field.

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